South African rugby to reintroduce race quotas next season
Last Updated: 14/08/13 2:48pm
Bryan Habana: South Africa's most famous black player
South African rugby is to reintroduce race quotas next season in an effort to produce more top-level black players.
Next year all 22-man Vodacom Cup squads must have seven black players - including two forwards - and five of the seven must start.
The Vodacom Cup is a national second-tier provincial competition played at the same time as the leading five South African sides compete for the Super 15 title.
Race quotas were first introduced in 1999 but were dropped in 2004 after a surge in the number of black players.
South Africa Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins says not enough black players are moving up to the Super Rugby franchises and the national team.
"The Vodacom Cup is a critical step on the development pathway in professional rugby," Hoskins said.
"But it had moved away from its primary purpose of presenting opportunities for emerging players, particularly black players.
"The intended outcome is an increased pool of black talent from which Currie Cup and Super Rugby coaches can select and - in due course - more options for the Springboks coach."
A decision would be made later regarding sanctions for Vodacom Cup teams who do not abide by the quota ruling.
The Springboks team to play Argentina on Saturday has three black players in the starting line-up - superstar winger Bryan Habana, Bjorn Basson and Zimbabwe-born prop Tendai Mtawarira.
Two more - Gurthro Steenkamp and flanker Siya Kolisi - are on the bench.